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21
English / Re: He walked to the School-
« Last post by Rock100 on July 01, 2020, 01:35:12 PM »
> You are correct but misinterpreted the intended distinction. It was
> "go to school" vs. "go to the school", where the meaning is about going
> to a physical place ("a school, that school"), versus (physically) going
> to their place of learning.
Oh, sorry. My grammar books are very clear on this point and I have just remembered some rules and stopped paying any attention to it.

> Even over here, if we wanted to say that we walked in that direction but
> didn't actually get there, we would say "towards"
Ok. So the points are
1. The use of the article.
2. to/towards may and do denote perfectness (as opposed to imperfect/continues/progressive actions). I have never heard about such a phenomenon.
3. The usage of the “to walk” word that I find odd but it looks like nobody cares.
I know that I overuse the articles, I still do not understand (3) but I can survive it. The (2) looks like the most important one for me.
> but it could be a distinct issue of telicity violations in certain contexts, maybe
> unrelated to the lexical meaning of "to". Someone must have written a paper
> about this somewhere...
I will wait. I am from the background where one must choose between perfect verbs and their imperfect synonyms while translating – there is no such a non-deterministic facility in my language. I do not need to translate any longer for myself and can even think in English but if I have to translate I need to choose the proper verb.
By the way, if you are interested, my grammar book uses perfect verbs in translation of every single example of the “to” preposition section and chooses their imperfect counterparts for the ones from the “towards” section. But it never mentions such an aspect. So if a foreign grammar book is a kind of aware of such a peculiarity there is definitely something in it.
22
Hi,

You are right. The name of the topic is not right.  I have changed it.


---
 “Snatch” (2000)

“Bullet-Tooth Tony: A bookie's got blagged last night.
 Cousin Avi          : Blagged? Speak English to me, Tony. I thought this country spawned the f***ing language, and so far nobody seems to speak it.”

{Cousin Avi ( Dennis Farina  )is an American who has just arrived in London
{Bullet-Tooth Tony ( Vinnie Jones ) is British


P.S.

panini   : " ... "Advantage" is about goals, which is a thing that living beings have."
Daniel   : " Advantages and disadvantages only exist in a context. ..."
waive15: I understand. In a way this was meant as English version of (The) Three trifles in/of/about Russian

Thank you for the interest.
23
English / Re: He walked to the School-
« Last post by Daniel on July 01, 2020, 08:34:36 AM »
Panini, I agree with everything you said, except that my intuitions are fuzzy now. Is it really defeasibly inferred?
I walked to the school, but I didn't get there.

That seems very odd to me! But it's not entailed in other contexts (see above). Is there a reason for that? Is it sometimes entailed and not others? Or is there some sort of very strong implicature that seems to not be easily violable here?

Even in the right context it's odd:
"My school was destroyed in an earthquake that split my city into two separate land masses. Sometimes I forget about that in the morning, and I will walk to school, but I can't get across the ocean."
Except in the loose interpretation as roughly "I start walking to school", that really doesn't seem right. It's hard to think of a context where it does, except when there is a morphosyntactic change like a subordinate clause or progressive aspect.

Or something more natural:
I walked to school this morning, but on the way my friend gave me a ride.
That seems marginally possible in loose/sloppy usage where "starting walking" is implied, but I have trouble with it literally.

Notice that the sloppy reading goes away in less typical collocations:
#I walked to the planetarium, but then my friend gave me a ride.

It seems that "walk to (the) school" may describe a habitual action with a specific intent, so you can partake in that activity because it's familiar and you can simulate it even without success. But going elsewhere, the semantics seems to break down.
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Linguist's Lounge / Re: English - pros, cons and how one deals with them
« Last post by panini on July 01, 2020, 08:25:48 AM »
I contrarily think that languages and tools in general do have advantages and disadvantages, but that is a relationship between the think in question and the "experiencer" of the advantage. It's not intrinsic to the language (thus I end up agreeing with Daniel, just phrased differently). A torx screwdriver has definite advantages and disadvantages. If you have a torx screw, a torx screwdriver clearly advantageous and a flat-head screwdriver is clearly disadvantageous. Norwegian is clearly advantageous when talking to village elders in remote valleys of Norway, and clearly disadvantageous when talking to village elders in remote parts of the Atlas mountains. The lack of pharyngeal consonants and ridiculous consonant clusters makes English disadvantageous when one strives to speak Moroccan Arabic; the presence of such things in Tamazigh is advantageous when one strives to speak Moroccan Arabic. The ability to breathe air and water is a clear advantage for certain kinds of fish. "Advantage" is about goals, which is a thing that living beings have.

As for your specific examples, esp. the last point, you assume that foreigners need to perform a theoretical analysis whereby they label tings as Particle vs. Preposition. That's not necessary. Such a classification is one way of learning a language, but not a necessary way.

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English / Re: He walked to the School-
« Last post by panini on July 01, 2020, 08:09:59 AM »
Yes, except we say "play truant", or more colloquially, "bunk off" instead of "play hooky".
Okay, so the point is that this is a test for literal entailment versus pragmatic implicature. If it were part of the literal semantics of "to" plus verb of motion that you have to reach the goal, then that sentence should be meaningless. Since it is not, that is evidence that the meaning "and reached the goal" is defeasibly inferred – it's pragmatics, not literal semantics. And thus UK and US English are not linguistically different. Even over here, if we wanted to say that we walked in that direction but didn't actually get there, we would say "towards", "in the direction of" or something like that. Thus "to" implies arrival, but does not entail is.

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Linguist's Lounge / Re: English - pros, cons and how one deals with them
« Last post by Daniel on July 01, 2020, 05:51:47 AM »
Quote
The pros and cons of something are its advantages and disadvantages.
Languages don't have advantages and disadvantages. They just have features (and from an outside perspective, variation).

Advantages and disadvantages only exist in a context. If a language is insufficient for the purposes in which it is used, it will surely be adapted and expanded to become sufficient. I suppose you might think of some features are more convenient than others as a learner (or maybe just simpler to learn), but I don't agree with the premise of this. This really is part of what having the perspective of a linguist will do: we pick up a different perspective on languages that results in different questions.

Now, there certainly can be some conditional advantages or disadvantages. Having a language that distinguishes gender can be extremely useful in some cases, and extremely unfortunate in others. For example, if you want to distinguish between a male friend and a female friend, Spanish "amiga" and "amigo" are useful! But if you don't want to specify the gender of that friend (or their gender identity is non-binary) then you're going to be stuck! In English we just say "friend", for better and worse. It depends on context. One fundamental ability that language speakers have and use is vagueness, which isn't always available in some languages. That's interesting. Translators face this all the time, when something isn't specified (or is intended as a mystery) in the original text, but a choice must be made in the new language!
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English / Re: He walked to the School-
« Last post by Daniel on July 01, 2020, 05:47:06 AM »


Quote
May you really say “walk to school” and mean an educational institution? I was dead sure that natives walk to a physical place only and “go to school” if they need to say they attend it. In other words, I have thought that you “go to (the) school” whether it is a concrete place or an institution but you can walk to a concrete place/school only. I.e. you cannot “walk to the School of Woodwork” you “go to the School of Woodwork” if you mean you attend it.
You are correct but misinterpreted the intended distinction. It was "go to school" vs. "go to the school", where the meaning is about going to a physical place ("a school, that school"), versus (physically) going to their place of learning. The distinction is very subtle, and almost equivalent in most circumstances. Roughly "I went to school" means "I went to the school that I attend". That's unrelated to the other meaning of "I attend school" as in "I go to school" where no movement is indicated.

Quote
Sorry, I am afraid you may not have both. You either get there or can say that you may disappear on your way and do not reach the place.
As I said, my intuitions are getting fuzzy now, but I'm not certain you're correct. It might be the case that "to" actually does assert arrival, but that often usage of motion constructions might not assert completion of that motion. In the very simple utterance "I walked to the school", it's very hard to imagine any other interpretation. But in a context like "While I walked to the school", that's where it becomes easier to interpret that something interrupted the arrival. So I'm not 100% confident in my original reply to this question (beginning of this discussion, my first post), but I know that the arrival can in some cases be violated, but I'm not sure exactly what it is. I'd think about it more, but as I said already my intuitions are getting fuzzier, having thought about it too much. My first instinct was a strong implicature, and that's probably right, but it could be a distinct issue of telicity violations in certain contexts, maybe unrelated to the lexical meaning of "to". Someone must have written a paper about this somewhere...
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English / Re: He walked to the School-
« Last post by Rock100 on July 01, 2020, 03:30:10 AM »
>>> In English English "He walked to the school" means he got there – perhaps
>>> not right up to the front door, but definitely to a position in the street where
>>> if he stopped walking he would be standing just outside the school or its
>>> grounds, or if on the other side of the road would be opposite it.
>> So in your dialect, can you say "When I walked to school yesterday,
>> they blocked the main road with construction and I got lost going around
>> it, so I ended up at the zoo and decided to play hooky instead"?
> Yes, except we say "play truant", or more colloquially, "bunk off" instead
> of "play hooky".
Sorry, I am afraid you may not have both. You either get there or can say that you may disappear on your way and do not reach the place.

> but in "I walked to school" you are considering it primarily as an educational
> institution.
May you really say “walk to school” and mean an educational institution? I was dead sure that natives walk to a physical place only and “go to school” if they need to say they attend it. In other words, I have thought that you “go to (the) school” whether it is a concrete place or an institution but you can walk to a concrete place/school only. I.e. you cannot “walk to the School of Woodwork” you “go to the School of Woodwork” if you mean you attend it.

29
Hi,

The "pros" and "cons" of something are its "advantages" and "disadvantages".
/it will be done in a relaxed way, so there will be mistakes/


I yam what I yam.
Popeye the Sailor


Native speakers don't notice some features of their "language" ("language" is a habit). Foreigners on the other hand are more critical/nitpicking.



"pro": English nouns have not grammatical gender. They lost their case endings (they have only one form, apart from genitive) - so: no endings - no gender! (very few exceptions) /look at the mess in German/

"pro": English pronouns - the same: Nom. form and the Other form (apart from genitive)

"con": One cannot say have not, read not, ...(in general) (which is normal in other languages) - don't/doesn't have, read ...  is a little bit too ... posh.

"pro/con": Prefixes which are prepositions are set/put after the verb where they belong. This makes verb short (which is good) but it is hard for the foreigners to decide if it is a Preposition or a Verb particle.
/This is extremely elegant. But I as a foreigner make the Verb particle a Prefix and then the phrasal verb sounds "normal" /like German, Russian, Latin, ... verbs// 

"pro/con": "What are you talking about?" The "normal" way would be "About what are you talking?" It is a simplification - if you have a question word (and a preposition) in a question - the question begins with the question word (and the preposition is at the end).

"pro": Perfect tenses use only HAVE (they are made regular!!!). /see German as a bad example/

"pro": Conditionals are simplified (due to simplified future, regular perfect tense and losing Subjunctive) /on the other side German is a way more punctual (with Subjunctive), Russian Conditionals are simplified but one cannot see the "logic"!!! (SO EVEN "RUSSIANS" cannot understand the "logic" of their own Conditionals (I prefer to leave that without comment)) /
...



P.S.
It will take time.
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English / Re: He walked to the School-
« Last post by Daniel on July 01, 2020, 02:12:15 AM »
Quote
Some interesting examples get thrown up when you think things through!
Yes, and I admit my intuitions are getting a bit fuzzy from overthinking this.
Quote
I think the distinction is that in "I walked to the school" you are considering the school primarily as a location, but in "I walked to school" you are considering it primarily as an educational institution.
I didn't intend to emphasize that distinction. Yes, there is a distinction (referring to a place, versus a typical location for learning: "I walked to school" means "my school" approximately, where I study), but that's not relevant I don't think to the question of success/arrival here.
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